Hearts and Hibs: The points total likely required to finish third

Hearts and Hibs are in the hunt for third place. Picture: SNS
Hearts and Hibs are in the hunt for third place. Picture: SNS
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Hearts and Hibs both won at the weekend to keep themselves very much in the hunt for third place.

Success over Aberdeen for Craig Levein's men and a win for the Easter Road side at Livingston means they are just four and six points behind Kilmarnock respectively.

Finishing third will ensure a place in the qualification rounds of the Europa League.

Kilmarnock travel to Leith on Wednesday while Hearts face Rangers at Ibrox before the Edinburgh derby on Saturday, meaning the league will likely be shaped differently come the split.

Looking back at the points total of the team finishing third in the previous 18 seasons, starting with the Premier League campaign of 2000-2001 when the division increased to 12 teams, shows the average points required is 64.

Using the points per game earned over the season to date, Hearts are on track to finish on 61, while Hibs' total will be 58.

Paul Heckingbottom's side will have to replicate their form over the last six leagues games, where they have picked up five wins and a draw, for the remaining seven games to reach 64 points. Hearts will need four wins and two draws.

However, statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight believes Hibs will finish above Hearts but only in fifth place with a points total of 56, one more than their rivals.

Only twice have a team finished in third place with less than 60 points in the last 18 seasons, while the highest total is 73, picked up by Rangers in the 2005-2006 season when Hearts finished runners-up.